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Roundup: Bank of Cyprus approves London Stock Exchange listing

Xinhua, December 14, 2016 Adjust font size:

Bank of Cyprus (BoC), the largest Cypriot lender, approved its listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), an official statement said on Tuesday.

BoC was in the center of a bank reform less than four years ago when it was forced to shed its Greek business, which was larger than its local business, and seize its customers' money to recapitalize as part of the 2013 bailout of the Cypriot economy.

The statement said the bank's shareholders approved by 99 percent the listing on the London Stock Exchange and the delisting of the lender from the Athens Stock Exchange.

They also approved a scheme to transfer its shares to Bank of Cyprus Holdings Plc, a holding company incorporated in Ireland, and the issuing of new company shares to current shareholders.

BoC chairman Josef Ackermann, a former chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank, had earlier told an extraordinary meeting of shareholders that the listing on the LSE would be to their benefit, no matter whether they lived in Cyprus or abroad.

He was mainly referring to foreign former depositors who became BoC's shareholders when they had 47.5 percent of their deposits turned into shares in March, 2013, and other investors who further recapitalized the bank 18 months later pouring in 1 billion euros (1.06 billion U.S. dollars).

Ackermann added that the listing is expected to increase the bank's share liquidity and make it visible to a wider basis of institutional and other informed investors.

The bank's CEO, Irish banker John Hourican, said the London listing would provide the bank with easier access to global markets in addition to increasing the tradability of the bank's share and would also benefit the wider economy of Cyprus.

The bank's share traded at noon on Tuesday at 0.125 euros, almost half the price at which it was re-listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange two years ago. Endit